GILMAN, Ill. (WCIA) — Authorities are still looking for a wanted man in Gilman, but were given an indication that he was still in the area Thursday morning.

Authorities said Joel Smith sexually assaulted a girl aboard an Amtrak train on Wednesday that was stopped in the Gilman train station. Police responded to the station when called, but Smith ran from the station by the time they arrived. A search began with authorities looking throughout Gilman and in the surrounding fields, but Smith was never found.

But Thursday morning, they got a new clue. Two women working at a gas station near Routes 24 and 45 said Smith walked in and bought a drink. They called 9-1-1 to report the sighting.

“When he came around the corner I’m like, I was petrified,” said employee Sharon Eimen.

Eimen said she knew it was Smith because of his neck tattoo.

“I said ‘That guy you were looking for from the train yesterday was just here,'” Eimen said she told an officer. “And he goes ‘Are you sure?’ I said ‘Yes, we’re positive.'”

Eimen added that she noticed Smith’s appearance was different from the photo that was posted on the gas station door. She said his hair was wet, in a bun and appeared shorter. She said he also looked nervous.

Armed with this new information and new momentum, law enforcement continued searching. Deputies from Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion County were among those taking part, along with Illinois State Troopers. They used farm equipment and binoculars to get a better view of the fields and brought in K9s and even a helicopter to aid in the search.

As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, Smith has yet to be found.

The search for Smith is also having an effect on schools in the area. The schools in the Iroquois West School District were placed on a soft lockdown on Wednesday, but classes were cancelled altogether on Thursday. The superintendent said he made the decision with the help of the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office.

The school district announced on Thursday that class will be held on Friday, but attendance will be voluntary. Doors will be locked with no outdoor activities. The district added it will let families know if the situation changes.